This is a story of a new plant which widely spread online, but whose use remains vague to most of the experts and relevant institutions. The following content has the purpose of presenting the plant objectively in terms of its history, cultivation and recognition in Thailand and the USA. The intention of the author is not to discuss its effects or to persuade you to use it, but to present the facts concerning its history and place in today’s use.
Kratom belongs to the family of ethnobotanical herbs of tropical and humid origin, but can be cultivated in house conditions as long as it gets a lot of free air and space. It can be very sensitive but with proper care and understanding of its needs, it becomes very resistant.
It was first discovered in Thailand, in the 19th century, by the Dutch botanical researcher W. Korthals. Afterwards, the Thai government banned its use, as it meant significant decrease in tax revenue from opium. However, there is a group of people in Thailand who are firmly against its criminalization. They consider it not to be problematic or even counterproductive, but on the contrary, that it can be used as useful in the growing problem of the population and that is opium addiction. They also believe that its cutting should not be an option.
In case you are interested in acquiring it, it can be purchased online by a lot of dealers. Unfortunately, some cases of misuse have been recorded, so the advice is to be careful and check who you order it from, how you order it and, of course, how you use it.
Generally, it is legal in the USA, but still on the DEAs list of Drugs and Chemicals of Concern, which means that its use remains questionable. The struggle is ongoing, as several state houses still oppose its widespread legalization. When one of the investigative reporters went to the National Institute on Drug Abuse to ask about this plant, they had no record of it nor did the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, as they consider it to be a drug of abuse without therapeutic effects.
There is no specific data on the number of people using it in the USA, so the question remains whether or not it should be legalized as you can buy kratom without a prescription. Either way, it has been familiar to some pharmaceutical companies back in the 1960s, but its effects have not proven to be satisfactory and it was not put in mass production. What is for certain is that it cannot be grown in laboratory conditions and it can’t be modified in any other way.
As your author is a true believer in nature’s diversity, in my opinion, this plant should be preserved, if nothing else than as a contribution to the dying species all over the world. The choice on how to use it is entirely up to you, dear reader, but as everything else in the world, the rule is that the golden mean is the best. It can be either a cure or poison depending on its (mis)use and handling.